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Author Topic: What to expect, pain-wise  (Read 3811 times)

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Offline redlotus

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What to expect, pain-wise
« on: September 22, 2011, 10:13:52 PM »
Hello folks -

I'm waiting for a donor match for my fresh allograft, and I'm trying to do a lot of research on what to expect because it makes me far less anxious.  I'm the type who feels BETTER after watching the gory surgery videos, because then I at least know what they're going to do!  :)

What I want to know is what the pain level is like.  I've had an ACI done on my patella and MFC, as well as a TTT and multiple scopes.  I'm not new to surgery, and I've felt soem bone pain with the TTT and the ACI rehab was LONG and hard.  I've heard from some posters that the allograft/OATS pain is particularly bad, but others seem not so bothered.  I know part of it is personal tolerance to pain, graft size/location, pain meds, etc.  But I'm hoping someone can give me an IDEA of what to expect.  I'll be having a large graft on the MFC and one on my patella.  It'll be an open procedure, and I've been told I'll have at least one night/one day in the hospital after.  I'll probably have the same set-up I had for my ACI, which was conscious sedation and an epidural, which they left in for a day afterward for pain management. 

Any and all replies are welcome, even if you can't compare it to an ACI - I'm just having a hard time finding many first-hand accounts of what to expect. 

Thanks in advance!
Lauren

Offline KSTL

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2011, 11:03:03 PM »
I was just like you doing lots of research before surgery.  I waited for 3 weeks for the fresh allograft.  I have to tell you the pain is really really bad.  You will need help because you will be on high pain pills.  I am at week 6 and still having pain, especially at night.  I have had 3 children and one was an emergency C-section and this was worse.  Do not be afraid to take the pills.  They are your friends.  You must stay ahead of the pain.

Offline redlotus

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2011, 04:56:41 PM »
Hi KSTL, thanks for the reply.  Just got the call this AM that I have a donor match!  Relieved but nervous as hell.  I've had 9 other surgeries including an ACI in three places and a TTO, so I'm luckily pretty familiar with the whole rehab process generally speaking.  I handle pain meds really well and I've done the whole brace/CPM/shower seat/etc routine so I know what I'm in for in that regard LOL. Going to be staying at my parents' house in Maine for at least 6 weeks. 

I'll be sure to stay ahead of the pain - the few times I haven't I certainly paid for it and never really got ahead of it again, so I'm very careful about it now.  I hope you start feeling better soon!  :(

Offline etrusc0

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2011, 05:56:30 AM »
KSTL - 6 weeks and still having pain ... IMO - something may be wrong.  Have you had any other knee surgeries to compare this one to?

I had some really bad scar tissue after my ACI - when it finally gave the therapist said that now I know what it's like to give birth.

-etrusc0
Left Knee
93 - broken femur, damaged cartilage
99, 01 - microfracture
05 - ACI - Patella, Trochlear, MFC (Dr M.)
11 - Osteochondral Allograft MFC (Dr M.)

Offline KSTL

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 02:56:12 PM »
I went to the surgeon and the therapist have both said pain is very normal with this surgery.  I have had four knee surgeries on my right knee including an ACL transplant and four on the left.  I have in the last 16 months had a microfracture that failed, and two OATS on this left knee.  My first transplant surgery was the size of a dime then they had to do about a nickel size this last surgery with taking out half my meniscus and taking out other cartilage. 

Redlotus, I hope your surgery goes well.  You have been through it all.  I think it is a great idea to go to the parents house.  During this go around, my husband had to work from home.  He just went back to work this past week.  Thank goodness his boss was understanding.  I really do not know what I would have done.  Good Luck!!!  Let me know on your progress.

Offline rkleonard

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2011, 03:00:07 AM »
I just had a lateral meniscus allograft replacement 2 weeks ago.  The pain was excruciating the night after I was released from surgery but the next night it was tolerable.  I have had one knee surgery before and have fully dislocated my knee in the past but this surgery was more painful by far.  That being said I have some advice on how to mitigate the pain.

I should also mention that my surgery took 2 days because the surgeon dropped the 1st meniscus on the ground rendering it unusable.  Luckily there was another perfect match in Denver which was immediately flown to Portland Or where I live.  This also gives me the unique perspective because I experienced 2 "first nights" and the second "first night" was tolerable and The first "first night" was a 10/10 on the pain scale.  I would have gone to the emergency room except the thought of riding in a car seemed impossible.  I was trying to talk myself down with gentle reminders of what soldiers used to endure in the civil war days.  Not fun.

Here is my humble advice:

1) don't be scared by this reply, get the surgery. you can handle it.
2) tell the anesthesiologist that you do not want too much nerve block and that you want to be able to feel your foot when you wake up.

3) do not leave the hospital before the nerve block wears off and you can asses your pain and feel most of your foot again.

Here is what happened to me night 1:

I left the hospital in no pain at all at 4 pm.  my leg was totally numb.  since I had no feeling in my leg, I laid down with it in a bad position from 4-8 pm. between 8-9 pm my pain went from a 3 to a 10 and I thought that I was having a serious complication.  I took 13 oxycodones that night and they could not touch the pain.  I am sure it was because of the surgical nerve block. I also had a pain pump which they sent me home with that had a secondary nerve block but it did not help much. One thing I found to be somewhat effective was to get my knee up on a couple of pillows with additional pillows supporting my ankle.

After I had surgery (successful) the next day I made sure to address the issues of the night before with my OS and the Anesthesiologist and they gave me less block and I was able to manage my pain the next night.

Now two weeks out I have more or less standard post op aches and pains.  I am taking about (9) 5mg oxycodones/day which is about half of what I was taking immediately after the operation

Hope this helps

R.



Offline Sam451

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Re: What to expect, pain-wise
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2011, 07:33:49 AM »
Rkleonard-who is your surgeon?  I just got the call for my allograft and am having the surgery in Portland. I live in Vancouver WA. Good luck to you in your recovery. I appreciate your words of advice. I am having a MFC Allograft w/MCL reconstruction on the 28th. Fingers crossed for a successful outcome. I have had two failed surgeries before switching surgeons.

Jenni
Nov 09 Torn MCL, Articular Cartilage & Lateral Meniscus
April 10 Microfracture Failed/menisectomy
Dec 10 Autograft
Sept 11 Chondroplasty
Nov 11 Allograft MCL Recon
Jan 13 Chondroplasty, Lat Release
May 13 TTO/Lat Release
Dec 14 lat retinaculum repair
Nov 15 screw removal tighten lat retinaculum